- NNPC Chief Urges Firms to Diversify
The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru, has called on stakeholders in the oil and gas industry to explore other areas to boost economic diversification.
Baru spoke at the 2018 Nigerian Annual International Conference and Exhibition (NAICE) of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Nigeria Council titled: Diversification of the Nigerian Economy: The Oil and Gas Industry as an Enabler held in Lagos. He identified the reliance on oil and gas as responsible for the economic recession experienced in the country recently.
The NNPC chief also urged the stakeholders to look for ways to create alternative funding for exploration activities in Nigeria.
He said: “This obvious lack of proactive action unfortunately exposed the country to economic shock occasioned by the global economic crises that culminated in the recession experienced recently, adding the theme was in line with the vision of the present administration of energising the national economy through robust sectoral development.”
He said with oil reserves of about 37 billion barrels and 199 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves, the country was well positioned to generate resources and accelerate developments.
According to him, once this is achieved, Nigeria should be self-sufficient in providing general services, agriculture and manufacturing, among others.
Baru stated that the reform by the NNPC has centered on third party financing for Joint Venture (JV) operations, hence there is need to look for ways to design an alternative funding for exploration activities in Nigeria.
“I extend NNPC’s gratitude to our local banks, international lenders and Schlumberger representing the local service providers, for their continued faith in Nigeria and their support in providing funding. It is quite an exciting time ahead in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. The industry is financing both the development and infrastructure through alternative funding means.
“The case in point is the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) pipeline that is being done under contractor financing with about $3billion. NNPC appreciates the cooperation of its partners and government financiers to move the industry forward. Our goal remains value delivery for all.
“So far, the financing is centred on production, I will like to see the industry to concentrate and develop innovative ways on how to finance exploration. This, I believe, will be the big take-away from this workshop as it appears this is an area that is high and tough. Can we create an industry pool that will be funding for exploration? This is a worthy idea that we should look into. I hope that deliberations in this conference will dwell on other areas that I might have left out today.
“We required an incremental annual capital funding of minimum of $7million to cover the gap and to ensure growth, it was also clear to us that we cannot leave funding gap without looking out giving the outlook of government expenditures and strategic focus.”
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, represented by Sejus Ogun, said the country needed to pursue and develop an enabling environment that would promote transparency in the oil and gas sector.
Dogara said the Legislature had given tacit support to ensure that the industry was run in a more transparent way, adding that the House of Representatives had demonstrated the support through accelerated passage of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) now waiting for presidential accent. He also assured that the remaining three other bills would receive the desired attention as the legislators were concerned and willing to provide the investment climate to drive the industry.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, represented by Mr Johnson Awoyemi, said the industry required a robust legislation that would help in the ongoing Federal Government transformation.
Kachikwu said the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had demonstrated commitment towards strengthening the industry by giving approval to the oil and gas policies. He urged the conference to come up with suggestions and strategies that would engender transparency, reduce contracting cycle issues, bring about cost reductions and accelerate development across the value chain.
The Chairman, SPE Nigeria Council, Mr Chikezie Nwosu, called for immediate action to leverage the opportunities presented by the industry to develop other sectors. Nwosu regretted that the country had moved slowly in the quest to take advantage of the sector to fully transform the economy.
He said government should not lose focus of the opportunities in the National Gas Policy, “as gas is critical to support such agenda.”
Egypt Leads Nigeria, South Africa in Foreign Direct Investment
The United Nations Trade Association has Nigeria recorded a total of $2.6 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2020, below the $3.3 billion posted in the preceeding year.
South Africa, Africa’s most industrialised nation, reported $2.5 billion during the same year, slightly below Africa’s largest economy and 50 percent below the $4.6 billion attracted a year earlier.
The report also noted that Africa recorded a total of $38 billion FDI in the same year, representing a 18 percent decline from the $46 billion posted in the corresponding year of 2019.
However, Egypt led Nigeria and South Africa with $5.5 billion FDI, an increase of 38 percent from the preceeding year.
The report read in part, “FDI flows to Africa declined by 18% to an estimated $38 billion, from $46 billion in 2019. Greenfield project announcements, an indication of future FDI trends, fell 63% to $28 billion, from $77 billion in 2019. The pandemic’s negative impact on FDI was amplified by low prices of and low demand for commodities.”
UNCTAD also noted that global foreign direct investment declined by 42 percent to an estimated $859 billion, down from $1.5 trillion in 2019.
“The decline was concentrated in developed countries, where FDI flows fell by 69 percent to an estimated $229 billion. Flows to Europe dried up completely to -4 billion (including large negative flows in several countries). A sharp decrease was also recorded in the United States (-49%) to $134 billion.”
FG to Partly Fund Six Rail Projects Connecting All Regions
The Federal Government will pay a total sum of N71 billion to partly fund six rail projects connecting all regions of the country.
In the report obtained from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the six rail projects marked for development this year are Lagos-Kano rail line (ongoing), Calabar-Lagos (ongoing), and Ajaokuta-Itakpe-Aladja (Warri).
Others are the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri railway, the new Kano-Katsina-Jibiya-Maradi line in Niger Republic and the Abuja-Itakpe and Aladja-Warri Port and refinery/Warri new harbour.
The Buhari administration will also spend N15.1 billion on the development of safety and security of critical projects, airport certification, runway construction, terminal building, among others in the aviation sector in 2021.
Last week, Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, said the Lagos-Kano line would be connected from the Ibadan end of the Lagos-Ibadan railway and would cost $5.3 billion.
“We are waiting for the Chinese government and bank to approve the $5.3bn to construct the Ibadan-Kano. What was approved a year ago was the contract,” the minister said.
He added, “The moment I announced that the Federal Government had awarded a contract of $5.3bn to CCECC (China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation) to construct Ibadan-Kano, people assumed the money had come in; no.
“We have not got the money, which is a year after we applied for the loan. We have almost finished the one of Lagos-Ibadan. If we don’t get the loan now, we can’t commence.”
FG Launches E-ticketing Platform to Deepen Train Usage and Convenience
In a bid to improve the usage and enhance the convenience of train transport in Nigeria, the Federal Government on Thursday announced the launching of the Electronic Ticketing platform for the Kaduna-Abuja rail services.
The N900 million E-ticketing platform was introduced by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike R. Amaechi, and the Nigerian Railway Corporation.
Amaechi said the new platform would improve efficiency, promote accountability, reduce leakage and enhance economic growth, as well as save time.
The E-ticketing platform was a Public-Private Partnership project done in conjunction with Secure ID Solutions, who provide and would manage the system for 10 years in an effort to recoup its investment before the Nigerian Railway Corporation take charge.
Kofo Akinkugbe, the Chief Executive Officer, Secure ID Solutions, said as the new E-platform issued 25,000 tickets after a successful pilot test on Thursday.
Potential Travelers can book via three ways:
1. Mobile app
3. POS or Cash at the station
A validator would be used to scan the ticket barcode to ascertain its authenticity before boarding.
Amaechi further announced that self-service ticket vending machines at various train stations would be introduced soon.
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